Aug 26, 2009

Rest in Peace, Senator. You Will Be Missed.

“For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” Edward Moore Kennedy

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Aug 25, 2009

::Smacks Head in Frustration::

You'd think I'd learn. After all, I've been part of my family for 42 years. But I never do. Sometimes, I am just a fucking idiot!!

Someday, someday I will learn not to comment... on anything.
Someday, someday I will learn to just take what I am offered, whether I need/want/can use it or not, and stuff it in a box or give it away.
Someday, someday I will learn to not offer any details of my personal life.

Someday.
Someday.

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Aug 19, 2009

If Today Was Your Last Day...

Today was perilously close to being my sister's last day. She dodged a big time bullet.

She had reconstructive knee surgery (completely torn ACL, partially torn MCL, extra long something'r'other that involved drilling into the bone) last Friday. She was 911'd to the hospital today after passing out and convulsing. She just managed before she passed out to click the button on the walkie-talkie and whisper "help, help".

Fortunately, my mom's house (next door) was quiet; she heard the whisper and went next door where she found my sister unconscious and, then, convulsing, in her bedroom.

And, for once I'm not going to save the whole lesson for the end, here's the first part: LISTEN when other people tell you about what they're going through. Even if you don't care that it's what friends do, you never know what you'll learn that may be useful later. For example, I learned from one of my best friends about pulmonary embolisms awhile back.

So we pushed for the ER staff to check for that. The ER doctor rather arrogantly dismissed the idea because my sister didn't recall having a hard time breathing. We pushed some more. (Ok, I pushed my mom via phone, she pushed my sister's husband via phone, my sister's husband and my dad pushed the ER doctor - it was kind of a chain event thing.) The doctor pushed on my sister's leg, it hurt. They did an ultrasound. Yep, a clot. They sent her up to get scanned all over. She does, indeed, have a clot in the upper lobe of each lung.

So here's the second part of the lesson: DEMAND to be heard. Unfortunately, we can't rely wholly on the health care system to know what's wrong with us and, in the end, we are responsible for our own health care. If it doesn't make sense in your gut, ask questions. If it still doesn't make sense, ask more questions. Keep asking, keep pushing.

If we hadn't, if we'd just accepted the codeine allergy theory, my sister would've been sent home from the ER with nothing more than "you just fainted" and a pat on the head which would have, most likely, killed her.

Scared the shit out of us all but she'll live. My sincerest thanks to that friend - I am so sorry you had to go through what you did to learn that but what you learned and shared saved my sister's butt. You know who you are and you're one of my best friends for many, many reasons.

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Aug 12, 2009

When Does Parenting Become Fun?

I had to leave music class today 2 songs in because Katie was being so disruptive (despite multiple warnings and a stern discussion before class) it just wasn't fair to the other kids n the class.

Now, granted, I think too much. But, in thinking too much today, I believe I've hit on why I get so very angry with Katie when she gets in these long, long spells of rotten behavior: she takes every drop of joy there could be out of parenting.

I want to like her. I want to have fun with her. I want to share the things I see that I find cool. I want to take her neat places and giggle together. Her behavior precludes it. I have to be the hardass every minute and it gets wearing. If I'd wanted to be a drill sergeant, I'd've enlisted.

I really want to like her and it makes me very, very sad that I don't.

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Aug 11, 2009

God, I Love My OB!

So, last night, John and I drafted an appeal letter on the ultrasound denials. This morning, I called my OB's office before I sent it, just in case they had anything they wanted me to add.

Well, Jessica says, they got the same letters yesterday. My OB was apparently really upset and called their medical director and raised holy hell (my term, not hers). The ultrasounds are now approved.

I could not ask for a better doctor.

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Aug 10, 2009

Oops, They Did It Again...

Ok, first, please forgive the language that is about to follow...
GOD DAMN MOTHER FUCKING HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY!

::takes deep breath and visualizes their medical director roasting on a spit::

Ok, now that the vent is out of the way, let me explain.

Yes, the health insurance company is at it again - determined they shall not fail in their mission of racheting the stress level of pregnant moms to Total Freak Out Level by the last few weeks of pregnancy. People who have been reading here awhile may remember that, last time, they threatened about 6 weeks before I delivered that I wouldn't be able to deliver at the hospital where my OB practices. That, being an issue that affected the state insurance pool as well as our tiny little bit of business, got resolved by the State Controller getting involved.

This time... well, a bit of background first... Evie, my 16 month old, was delivered nearly a month early as her amniotic fluid levels had dropped precipitously (>50%) from Tuesday to Thursday. This time, the OB warned us that the insurance company wasn't going to cover twice weekly fluid check ultrasounds and we've been scheduled for weekly ones with fetal non-stress tests for the next 5 1/2 weeks until delivery. Well, today, my mail brought me the news that the insurance company won't cover those either - sorry, they say, it's not medically necessary. If a baby doesn't have enough amniotic fluid, first, he or she stops growing, then, loses weight, and, if it goes on long enough, the child essentially starves to death in the womb. There is no question that ultrasounds are safe, they are not experimental, and have been shown, as I am a direct example of, to save fetal lives.

Not medically necessary, my substantial ass.

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Aug 4, 2009

Mothering Fail

So, today, we're trying a new experiment.

Whereas Katie can't be trusted to sleep in the guest room, and
Whereas putting her and Evie in the same room for nap was an unmitigated failure, and
Whereas she clearly isn't getting enough sleep,
Now, therefore, she is lying in a little blanket bed on the living room floor under my reluctantly watchful eye. She has a stack of books and a big stuffed animal. I'm playing new agey meditation music on the computer.

So far, I've had to remind her of the no-talking rule 6 times. She's been (sort of) down 10 minutes.

The sleep thing is getting to be a real issue because her behavior is exponentially worse when she's tired. She's 10 times as sassy, 10 times as defiant, and 10 times as disobedient. Given that she's really rather sassy, defiant, and disobedient in the first place (well, she is almost 4!), it makes for days filled with parenting crises of confidence.

I get tired of spending what feels like 90% of my time yelling at her. It's not fair to her. It's not fair to Evie. It's not fair to me. I don't like my household to be wreathed in such negativity but I also know it's my job to civilize my child. I can't release her out into the wild without such things as manners, knowing when to shut the fuck up, how to be considerate to others, yada yada yada.

This boils down, at this point, to teaching her that disobedience has a price. The trick, however, is proving to be finding the price that will make her realize it's not worth it.

Take picking up. I know, for a fact, that the child is perfectly capable of picking up; she's done it on multiple occasions. Sure, things may not always be in the most logical or "proper" spot afterward but, hey, she's 3. But, like most of us, she'd far rather play than pick up. Now, just so you know, I don't expect her to remember to pick up. She gets reminders - several - and some direction in how to go about it (even though she's proven she can do it without direction when she wants).

So, in comes Sol, the Pick Up Fairy. (Personally, I always imagined the Pick Up Fairy to be a girl - my husband, however, insists the PUF's name is Sol (for S.O.L.). Makes for an interesting visual since it's already been established that the PUF wears striped tights. Of course, it does explain the bowler hat - it covers his bald spot.) Sol recently added our house to his rounds. After Katie goes to bed, he comes and takes the toys she's left out. Some, he'll let me put away for Evie, some go off to Ukrainian orphanages. Sounds like it'd be a pretty good incentive to pick up, right? Yeah. So did we. So far? Not so much. We get a lot of "well, I didn't like that anyway!" and "I don't want it!" Yeah, she does the martyr thing. I absolutely hate taking my child's playthings away but, if she refuses to even make the attempt to take care of them, she doesn't deserve them. It usually leaves me on the verge of tears.

Another constant is refusing to put on her shoes. She knows how. She's actually quite good at it. But, if she doesn't feel like putting on her shoes, she refuses to. She'll sit there like a lump. Like after swimming class yesterday. Despite the pavement being "too hot!!!", would she put them on? No. She wound up having to go to bed without supper as soon as we got home. It seems an overreaction to the situation, I know, but it's so much bigger than the shoes. Because, basically, it all boils down to this: Do what you're told when you're told. And she doesn't... consistently, unremittingly doesn't.

Ironically, my 15 1/2 month old is far more obedient that Katie has ever been. She'll even willingly help pick up, she holds her foot out to have her shoes put on, she tries to help when we dress her (all three things, Katie never did). It gives me a little hope. Because, otherwise, I feel like a total failure as a mother.

Oh, by the way, now, 1/2 hour into naptime, she's had to move to her time out spot for the remainder of nap (with blanket, pillow, and stuffed animal) because she simply wouldn't stop talking.

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